Re: is my 3 week old having a growth spurt?
The consensus recommendation on pacifiers is that introduction of a paci should be delayed until 3-4 weeks, or longer if nursing isn't going well. When a baby sucks on a paci, 2 things can happen:
1. The baby's latch and suckling ability can be negatively affected because the way a baby sucks on a pacifier is different from the way a baby sucks on the breast.
2. The mom's milk supply can be affected if the baby skips nursing opportunities or stretches out the time between feedings because he's satisfied by sucking on a pacifier.
Since your baby was a bit early (which can impact his ability to nurse), and because you're sore (which implies that baby's latch may not be all that it should be), I think I'd delay using a pacifier until you're certain that baby's on track with his weight gain.
Nursing every 2 hours, or even more frequently, is totally normal. As LLLMeg pointed out, babies do "wake up" after a few weeks on the outside, and when that happens they tend to spend more time eating.
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"